So, I’ve been meaning to try my hand at making chicken stock for a while, I’ve just been lacking a chicken carcass to do it with. As it happened, the gentleman whose apartment I’m taking care of was kind enough to leave me one in his freezer from right before he left for Paris, so with a pretty lazy Sunday in front of me, yesterday afternoon seemed like a good time to try my hand at it. And with a recipe of tithenai‘s that seananmcguire posted that’s been lurking in the back of my head a good long while, well, let’s just say I’m set for a meat soup base for a good long while. Also? This makes the apartment smell fantastic when you’re cooking it.

Tithenai’s Chicken Stock

Ingredients

  • chicken carcass
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 medium to large (or 2 smaller) carrot, chopped
  • 1 leek, white to pale green bits chopped (save the tough green bits for vegetable stock)
  • peeled garlic cloves to personal taste
  • water
  • 1 large stick cinnamon (or 2 small)
  • 1 stalk rosemary

Take your chicken carcass, and chopped onion, carrot, and leek, and put them in a pot. Add your peeled garlic cloves, to personal taste. (I added in like five, because of my love of garlic) Add water until the chicken carcass is covered. Then, add in a stalk of rosemary, and your cinnamon stick. 

Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat, cover, and let cook for six to eight hours. I went with six. Stir at least twice an hour, and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting around hour two. Pictures four and five are after about one hour, and three hours, respectively. Picture six is what your stock will look like after about six hours, and with the heat turned off. 

Take a metal strainer, put a bowl underneath it, and slowly pour the contents of the pot through the strainer. (I ended up working in batches. Pic seven shows my strained stock, pot contents in the strainer on the left, and the already strained stock on the right. Be sure you have paper towel down around your work area to catch any stock that might jump out of the bowl as you pour.)

Then, take your stock, and use either immediately, put it in the fridge for a few days, or put in containers and store in the freezer until needed. 

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As of right now, this was one of the last new recipes that I ever cooked in my old place. My kitchen is now reduced to a few cups, mugs, what is left of my pantry that I’m taking with me, and whatever I have left in my fridge. It’s a real weird feeling right now, but I’m ready for what’s to come. 

I’ve been wanting to make this tart since Deb first put it up, and since it’s pretty easy and cheap to make, I decided to go for it. I could’ve made the tart shell, but as I was at the tail end of packing everything when I made this, I just decided to buy a pie shell and go from there, and didn’t really have the time or patience to make a pretty concentric overlapping circle with the potato slices. Still turned out damn good. 

Blue Cheese and Potato Tart
lasts about a week as a main

Ingredients

  • 1 savory tart shell (or, if you’re lazy like me, one pre-made pie crust), ready to fill
  • 1 lb small red potatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 c heavy whipping cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • .25 lb (about .75 c) blue cheese of choice, crumbled (I took my hunk of Hook’s Blue Paradise, and crumbled it using a knife)
  • sprinkle of sea salt
  • 1 T chopped herbs of choice (I used dried rosemary and thyme per Deb’s suggestion)

Take your potatoes, slice them thin, and then put them in a pot covered by about two inches of water, bringing the pot to a boil and then reducing to a simmer, uncovered, until the slices are tender, about ten minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 while they simmer.

Take your potato slices and attempt to arrange them in overlapping concentric circles around the pan. However, if you have been attempting to arrange a move down to Chicago in a little over two weeks and have been packing for most of the preceding week, take the potato slices and dump them in in a slightly artsy looking fashion. Take your crumbled blue cheese and toss it over the potatoes in a similarly artsy looking fashion. Don’t worry, it’ll look like you meant it. And probably rustic. 

Whisk together the yolk and heavy cream until combined, and then pour it over your potatoes and cheese. Sprinkle the top of the tart with sea salt, and your herbs of choice.  

Put the pie shell on a baking sheet (or if you’re me, a pizza pan), and bake at 350 for between 45 to 50 mins, until the tart is a good golden brown like in the final picture and bubbling a bit. Cool, and nom your fantastic tart (you can serve it warm or cold).

I’m really, really proud of how this turned out.  This was cooked entirely in an unfamiliar kitchen, with not quite complete ingredients, and mostly a wing and a prayer, as I had no idea how the oven functioned. However? It turned out really fucking good, and actually had at least my dad going back for seconds. So, yeah. I can do a hell of a roast.

Rib Roast

Ingredients

  • 1 rib roast (boneless or bone-in)
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 4 T tri-color peppercorns, ground
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary (substituted tarragon, dried)
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (substituted dried)
  • .5 c minced garlic (substituted dried, significantly less)
  • .5 c coarse sea salt (again, substituted significantly less)

Preheat oven to 500. 

Heat a large skillet with the olive oil over high, and then sear both ends of the roast, until golden brown. Strip the leaves from the rosemary and thyme, crush the peppercorns, and then mix it together with the salt and minced garlic. Set the roast in the roasting pan fat side up, pour the remaining olive oil over it, and spread the rub on it, patting it as much as possible to get it to stick. 

Put the roast in the oven, and cook at 500 for between twenty to thirty minutes. Then, reduce the heat down to 300, and cook for another twenty to thirty minutes for rare/medium rare.  The cuts above were after about twenty five minutes in the oven at 300 after twenty five at 500, and with a significant amount of cooling time. The roast will still cook a bit after putting it in the oven, though.

And then, enjoy your fantastic roast. 

So, this recipe came to me as part of a trial of the Plated service. (Disclaimer: I was not compensated by the company for doing this, and all opinions are my own.) I chose a six plate trial, which meant that I got two plates of three different recipes, and only had to pay shipping ($24 at that level) to have everything delivered to me the next day. I honestly got it because I was running a bit short on food, and couldn’t afford to do a full grocery shopping trip. 

I would recommend at least giving the free trial a run. The service delivers you the exact ingredients you’ll need for the recipes on the menu, with the exception of a few staples (olive oil, salt, pepper, water for the recipes I used). And even if you end up not liking a recipe for whatever reason, you can just use the ingredients that you get towards a recipe you know you’ll like (see: my using most of the ingredients for a beef brussels sprouts stir fry in recipe I’ll be posting after this instead).  Plus, the recipes are interesting, all of the ingredients are fresh and as far as I could tell regionally sourced, the recipes are well written, and will give you a chance to try something you might not necessarily try otherwise.  

Like at least two thirds of this recipe for me.  I don’t know any hunters, so it would be difficult for me to get my hands on quail on any given day, and I really haven’t seen quince in any grocery stores around here, but it’s definitely a thing I would like to eat if I ever got a chance to get it on a regular basis. The recipe provided is incredibly simple, and didn’t take me more than a half hour to make. I did end up adding a bit more balsamic to the quince, but for the most part, I will not be altering the recipe card I got for this in transcribing it here. 

Roasted Quail with Balsamic Quince and Smashed Potatoes
Lasts 2 to 3 meals

Ingredients

Roasted Quail

  • 4 small partially-deboned quail
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 packets dijon mustard

Smashed Potatoes

  • 6 baby red potatoes
  • sea salt, black pepper, and olive oil

Balsamic Quince

  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 quince, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 T water
  • 1 packet butter

Preheat your oven to 425. While the oven preheats, season a pot of water with sea salt (to taste), add your potatoes, and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, cover the pot and cook until fork tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. While the potatoes boil, take your quail, roughly chop the rosemary leaves, and pluck the thyme leaves off the sprigs. Mix the herbs with the dijon mustard. 

On one half of a foil lined baking sheet, season your quail with salt and pepper on both sides, and then brush the dijon herb mixture over the top of the quail. As soon as the potatoes are done, drain, pat dry, and add them to the other side of the sheet and smash the potatoes with a bowl, so that they are flattened, but still mostly intact. Drizzle with oilve oil and sea salt and pepper.  Put your quail and potatoes in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown and the quail are golden. 

While your potatoes and quail are roasting, peel and core your quince, dicing it into small pieces. As soon as it’s diced, add it to a small pot with the balsamic vinegar, thyme, and water, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and simmer about ten minutes over medium heat, until the quince is tender. Remove the pot from heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and stir in the butter to melt. 

And then, enjoy your awesome fall meal!

This is my second time attempting to make this, and honestly, with a bit of experience under my belt, I don’t feel like I fucked it up!  The outside is definitely a darker brown than in the pictures, for sure, but the bread inside appears to be perfectly done. Pairing this with sardines in pepper olive oil (as none of the stores I went to had sardines fresh or large enough to be done up for a proper Braavos Breakfast) probably later in the week, and if the sardines make it to the weekend, probably with some wine. 😉

Umma’s Olive Bread
Makes 3 large loaves

Ingredients

  • 6.5 c flour
  • 1.5 T active dry yeast (aka a package and a half)
  • 2.75 c lukewarm water
  • .25 c olive oil
  • 1.5 T salt
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 c pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 sprig rosemary, chopped

Take 1 c of water, .5 c of flour, and your yeast, and mix it together in a large bowl (trust me, you’re gonna need it). Let sit ten minutes, until it gets frothy, like in picture 1. Then, mix in your olive oil, honey, salt, the rest of your water, followed by your flour, a cup or two at a time. This will look like picture 2 as you do so. Mix with a wooden/plastic spoon, and if necessary, your hands, until you have a large, cohesive ball of dough.  Then, add your Kalamata olives and rosemary, and work into the dough with your hands, until you have a coherent ball of dough similar to picture 3. Cover with a towel and let sit for an hour and a half.  The difference between pic 3 and pic 4 is what your dough ball should look like after that time; you are going to have a very large ball of dough.

Once you have that dough ball, divide it into three equal pieces, and pull the edges of the piece under until you have a ball.  Take your three balls, put them on a large baking tray, and then cover again and let rise another half hour.  Pic 5 is what the balls should look like at the beginning of that half hour, and pic 6 is what they should look like at the end of it.

Once you have your risen dough balls, preheat your oven to 450 (mine was at 425) and score your bread with a serrated knife, in whatever patterns you choose.  I chose a seven pointed star to keep with the Game of Thrones theme, and then two other pretty looking patterns I found doing a quick Google. Place your bread in the oven, on two separate baking sheets if you need to, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is a nice brown and firm to the touch.

And then, if you have them on you, enjoy with a cup of wine and sardines in pepper oil for a Braavos breakfast.  I also have some olive oil left over from marinated feta that I’ll likely be using for a dipping sauce.

Tomato. Bacon. Chutney. Really, there’s no combination of these three words that doesn’t result in deliciousness, and the chutney that’s been simmering on my stovetop ever since I finished my marathon of all of House of Cards just proves it.  (Yes, I watched all of House of Cards, starting Friday night.  ALL OF IT.)

Made a few alterations to the original recipe, most notably, more detailed instructions, because really, you shouldn’t have to wing it and hope it turns out okay because of vagueness in the original directions.

Tomato Bacon Chutney

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large leek, chopped
  • 12 large cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/3 c honey
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • .5 lb thick bacon (as always, go farmer’s market if at all possible)
  • 2 T rice vinegar

Heat your olive oil over medium-highish heat, and take your diced leeks, garlic, and onion, and sautee until tender, about five minutes.  Add your honey and stir until fully combined, and then add your rosemary, paprika, tomatoes, and jalapeno. Bring to a simmer, and then reduce to medium/medium-low heat, and simmer for an hour.

While your chutney simmers, take your half pound of bacon, lay it out on a baking sheet with foil, and heat your oven to 325 (mine was at 300).  Put your bacon in the oven, and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes (25 minutes got me the second picture).  Once done, remove the bacon from the oven, let it cool, and then dice it and set it aside.

Once your chutney has simmered for an hour, season with salt and pepper, and stir in your rice vinegar. Then, remove the rosemary sprig and stir in your diced bacon, and enjoy the sexy, sexy goodness.